Before I Knew You, I Missed You
Exhibit: 24 September - 26 November 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, 24 September 2016 from 7:00pm - 10:00pm
de stijl | PODIUM FOR ART is pleased to present Before I Knew You, I Missed You, a solo exhibition of new work by sculptor Tammie Rubin. Mining familiar forms to construct intricate porcelain sculptures, Rubin explores the mysteries of the recognizable, decontextualized. Certain forms, she proposes, are imbued with power and manifest themselves at unexpected historical junctures. Somewhere between the readymade and the intricately hand-made, Rubin draws out how and why we find ourselves connecting to-and repeatedly communicating with--these forms.
In past works, Rubin has used dynamic color combinations and brightly intricate surfaces to heighten the surreal effects with which she works. For Before I Knew You, I Missed You, she pares down her palette--using mostly black, blue, and white--and the effect is sobering. These evocative compositions are gathered in groups that seem to speak together: a collection of black funnels, for example, have oval, rectangular, and rounded slits where eyes might peer out of them as they congregate. What's behind the surfaces, beneath these mask-like exteriors, is the unnerving question. The intimate scale of the works and their placement in groups compel a certain sensory response and proximity; the objects need each other, riff off each other, and simultaneously invite the viewer to imagine what might happen next, in these suspended spaces between the familiar and the unpredictable.
In this newest body of work, Rubin also references The Great Migration in the U.S. The surface treatments of the sculptures draw from maps of the migrations that many black Southerners (including Rubin's parents) made in search of better economic and social opportunities in Northern cities between the 1910s and early 1970s. Her surfaces trace some of these routes, but as she abstracts them they become amorphous, layered impressions of migratory paths--they subtly hint at historical and personal memories of travel, uncertainty, and hope.
Rubin received her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Washington in Seattle. She has had solo exhibitions at Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN; Berea College, Berea, KY; The William & Florence Schmidt Arts Center, Belleville, IL; The Gallery at Penn College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, PA; Lone Star College-North Harris, Houston, TX; Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO; Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD; Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, IN; and The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; among other galleries and museums. She is Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Ceramics at St. Edwards University in Austin. This is Rubin's first exhibition in Austin, TX.
The exhibition is accompanied by a printed catalog. Fully illustrated, the catalog will feature an essay by Guatemala City-based writer and curator Laura A. L. Wellen, PhD.